May 16, 2013
What a shock and surprise this show is soundwise - I think it's that FM-source on the first set that really does it for me. Philophiles take note - this is YOUR show. Throughout the entire first set and a great deal of the second he is a ubiquitously conspicuous instrument - driving so hard, so almost-heavy metal-intense it really gives this show a sound unlike anything else I've heard in '93. I'm familiar with the Cal Expo run, but this one from the Silver Bowl really does grab one's attention. I absolutely *had* to check out the other reviews to see if I was actually hearing what I thought I was hearing when the first minute or so of Touch began to constitute itself.
Set 1 is only six songs long, but oh what bliss! Given how badly Bobby's voice comes off in the second set, I imagine there was some behind-the-curtain illness being battled throughout the night in some form or another; anyways, one here is as good as another. Row Jimmy is particularly beautiful, and check out that absolutely hair-raising jam on Cassidy - hot DAMN!
Set 2's pre-drums set is a whopper - but if there is a problem with this show it is not having context to Bobby's clear hoarseness and his insistence on singing some pretty tough songs vocally (LLR).....plus, at some point during this otherwise rollicking Terrapin that crazy-cool Phil sound gets drowned in Vince's sudden, inexplicably smothering of basically every other instrument during the outtro jam - I've never been a Vince basher; the problem here resides with the mixing. It's a shame, considering how delicately he was balanced in the first set. '93 Dead really is too precarious to allow that kind of nonsense.
Anyways, the Other One keeps the steam going - what exactly *is* it about this jam that seems to dovetail so perfectly with Elvis? Or is it just me? :)
Jerry positively shreds the Rat, but, again, there's damned Vince again, almost sounding like he was brought in for studio overdubs. I mean, really, this is absurd....and the rest of the set kind of trots to a close.
This show holds such surprise and promise through the first 2/3rds; the problems evident certainly aren't Jerry's; this does NOT mean I'd recommend passing on a listen - just to hear the sheer fireball firepower of Phil COMMANDING his instrument is worth hearing - I absolutely love shows that make me re-think the Dead from the ground up.